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SuperFood of the Week- Honey

By April 24, 2017Super Foods

Drippy, golden yellow goodness from Mother Nature. What could it bee? Yes- honey!

Exactly how long honey has been in existence is hard to say because it has been around since as far back as we can record. Cave paintings in Spain from 7000BC show the earliest records of beekeeping, however, fossils of honey bees date back about 150 million years! Its ‘magical’ properties and versatility has given honey a significant part in history. The earliest record of keeping bees in hives was found in the sun temple erected in 2400BC near Cairo. The bee featured frequently in Egyptian hieroglyphs and, being favored by the pharaohs, often symbolized royalty.

Did you know this gentle but tenacious creature is being eradicated by pesticides? Bees are dying at alarming rates worldwide – and because bees are responsible for roughly one in every three bites of food we eat, we’re all in trouble. Why should anyone care? Well, they matter a lot more than most people would think. With summer upon us, it’s exciting to see the reemergence of some of our favorite produce, including stone fruit, peppers, sweet, juicy melons, succulent strawberries and many vegetables such as sweet potatoes. But what if the arrival of these crops each summer were to come to an end? Honeybees, among other pollinators such as bats, birds, butterflies, and bumblebees, are responsible in one way or another for the pollination of approximately 100 crops, according to Dr. Reese Halter, Ph.D., author of The Incomparable Honeybee and distinguished conservation biologist.

Of course- no honey bees- no honey! Here are just a few of the amazing benefits of raw honey:

Sweetener: It can be used as a substitute for sugar in many food and drinks. It contains about 69% glucose and fructose, enabling it to be used as a sweetener that is better for your overall health than normal white sugar.

Weight Loss: Though it has more calories than sugar when honey is consumed with warm water, it helps in digesting the fat stored in your body. Similarly, honey with lemon juice or cinnamon help in reducing weight.

Energy Source: According to the USDA, honey contains about 64 calories per tablespoon. Therefore, it is used by many people as a source of energy.  Furthermore, the carbohydrates in it can be easily converted into glucose by even the most sensitive stomachs, since it is very easy for the body to digest this pure, natural substance.

Source of Vitamins and Minerals: It contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. The type of vitamins and minerals and their quantity depends on the type of flowers used for apiculture. Commonly, honey contains Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron. If you check the vitamin and mineral content in regular sugar from any other source, you will find it to be completely absent or insignificant.

Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties: It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it is often used as a natural antiseptic in traditional medicines.

Antioxidants: It contains nutraceuticals, which are very effective for the removal of free radicals from the body. As a result, our body immunity is improved against many conditions. Can honey help fight cancer? What many people don’t think enough of or have overlooked is – honey possesses carcinogen-preventing and anti-tumor properties! There are now more and more studies pointing to the potential role of honey in the prevention and the progression of tumors and cancer.

Skin Care with Milk and Honey: Milk and honey are often served together, since both of these ingredients help in creating smooth, beautiful skin. Consuming this combination every morning is a common practice in many countries for this very reason.

Honey in Wound Management:  Significant research is being carried out to study its benefits in the treatment of wounds and the Nursing Standard explains some of these benefits in wound management in the document. These have been listed below:

Honey possesses antimicrobial properties.
It speeds up the healing process by stimulating wound tissues.
It helps in initiating the healing process in dormant wounds.

Helps regulate blood sugar:
Even though honey contains simple sugars, it is not the same as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some honeys have a low hypoglycemic index, so they don’t jolt your blood sugar.

Is probiotic:
Some varieties of honey possess large amounts of friendly bacteria. This includes up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria. This may explain many of the mysterious therapeutic properties of honey.

Honey should be handled with care to reap the benefits. Heating honey leads to drastic changes in its chemical composition. As a result, heating to high temperatures reduces its benefits. It is no wonder many people prefer raw or organic or raw organic honey. While raw by definition signifies less processing (and no heating), organic honey is prepared using stringent organic production methods and processing standards, in which heating to high temperatures is not allowed.

One caution – because honey can cause a dangerous disease known as botulism in infants, children under the age of 1 should never consume honey, raw or pasteurized.

At Cuisine for Healing we only use non-processed sugars created by Mother Nature. Honey is at the top of our list.

If you have a sweet tooth and need a power packed treat full of healing capacity try our Protein Peanut Poppers or our Blonde Coconut Macaroons.

Hurry – they are selling fast!

Also, visit EWG.org and sign the petition to save the bees!

Happy Healthy Eating

Dana

 

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